Your guide to getting started.
Welcome to WriterAccess!
Our writers are our most valuable asset. With your skill and expertise, we’re able to offer customers an easy and efficient way to get amazing content. We want you to have a great experience and get the support you need to be successful.
This guide will help you get started so that you can make the most out of WriterAccess. Read on to find out more about:
Setting up your Profile
As a new writer, the first step in establishing yourself as an active and successful member of our community is to create a profile.
Your profile is how customers get to know you. It tells them:
- What industries you write in
- Your writing background and professional experience
- Your education
- What assets you provide (for example, blogs, articles, e-books, etc.)
It is safe to say the information you offer here is some of the most important writing you will do. The best piece of advice we can offer about creating your profile is to proofread extensively. Use spell and grammar checkers in each section, including sample pieces. Read each paragraph aloud to make sure it flows. The goal is to tell a story about yourself in a way that shows customers you know how to engage the audience. Demonstrate to a customer why they would want to hire you! Here are the elements of a WriterAccess profile and some suggestions for making yours great.
First impressions matter, so begin with a professional headshot. Your profile picture should be a high-quality image of your face. Customers don’t need to see your children or your pet. The style you want is similar to the author’s picture you see on a book cover. Make sure the image is:
- At least 300×300 pixels (all images will be cropped to square shape)
- Well lit and in focus
- A close-up of your face (smile!)
- Friendly, inviting, and professional
The profile set-up is straightforward, but there are a few rules you should keep in mind. These apply to each section whether you are creating your “Summary of Experience” or defining your projects.
- Write about yourself in the third person. Wrong: I have been writing professionally for 10 years. Right: Mary has been writing professionally for 10 years.
- WriterAccess works using nicknames, not full names. Your profile should reflect that, as well. It’s okay to refer to yourself using your nickname or your first name, but no last names are permitted.
- Do not refer to competing sites when discussing your writing history. A competing site would be another company that helps you find customers to write for, such as Textbroker or CopyPress. It is okay to give generalizations without mentioning the companies. For example, “Mary is a long time contributor for a tech company that manufactures motherboards.” You may also mention specific publications you contributed to such as USAToday or the New York Times.
- Do not provide outside links. You cannot link to your blog, social media pages, byline pieces, or any other websites outside of WriterAccess.
- Choose your primary and secondary industries. When setting up your industries, you will need to choose three primary industries. These are the industries you are most qualified to write about. Someone with a nursing degree might choose health, medicine, and nutrition as primaries. Any other industries you sign up for will be automatically designated as secondary industries.
WriterAccess offers a wide variety of order styles to our customers, to give them choices and to open the field for our writers as well. The key to understanding our order process is learning the terminology.
Casting Call – This is a general call from a customer to find new writers. The goal for the customer is to find one special writer or a group of writers to use for future projects.
For writers, the casting call is a peek under the hood of a job. It gives you the opportunity to assess the word count, time commitment, and pay to see if it fits your requirements. If you see a job that you want, simply click the “Apply” button and write a brief note showing the customer why you’re the right person for the job. If you’re chosen for a casting call you will receive notice.
Solos – Customers can choose one writer based on a profile or casting call. If you get a solo order, it means the customer has selected only you and no other writer has the option to take that assignment.
If you can’t take a solo order, click on the view button and select “Not Interested” from the options at the top of the page. There is no penalty for turning down solo orders, but we do ask that you let the customer know as soon as possible so they can pick another writer.
Love Lists – Love lists allow our customers to create their own pool of writers from the WriterAccess community. When you are on a love list, you get an email 10 minutes before the job posts. This gives you time to open the order page and be ready when the title appears. With a Love List order, you are not the only writer who may try to claim that job, so it can be competitive.
Love List orders are open to you regardless of your star rating. If the job is posted at five stars and you are a four-star writer, you will still be able to accept that order.
Crowd – Crowd orders are available to anyone with the designated star rating or higher. Writers with a 3-star rating will see orders posted anywhere from 2 to 3 stars. A 3-star writer will not see a 4-star crowd order, though. These orders go to whomever claims them first. To claim one, simply click “view” beside the order title then “Checkout.”
Using Garage Space
What happens to an order once you accept it? It goes to what we here at WriterAccess call “garage space.” Garage space is your writer queue. It starts small and grows larger as you complete work.
At first you are limited to one space in your garage. After 10 orders, the garage expands to three spaces for each order type with the exception of solo orders. You can accept as many solo orders as you want. A writer with 100 or more completed orders can hold:
- 4 Crowd orders
- 4 Love List orders
- Unlimited Solo orders
A writer with 500 or more completed orders can hold:
- 5 Crowd orders
- 5 Love List orders
- Unlimited Solo orders
WriterAccess is a great way to get experience and fine-tune your craft, but it is the pay that brings you back. We pay twice a month via PayPal. You must have earned at least $10 in the pay period to get paid.
The early pay period starts on the first of every month and goes to the 15th. This means any work you have submitted by 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time on the 15th is paid in the first payment of the month. The second pay period starts on the 16th and goes to 11:59 P.M Eastern Time on the last day of the month. There are with two exceptions to this rule:
- Work that comes back for a revision after the pay period ends moves into the next pay period automatically.
- Any work not approved by the time payment goes out is paid separately a few days to a week after the initial payment. This can happen if the client has 336 hours to approve a piece –. In other words, a separate payment is made just for any stragglers submitted in the pay period but approved without revision after the pay date.
WriterAccess tallies the amount owed each writer within the pay period on the 4th and the 19th of each month. That money is then transferred into each writer’s PayPal account. It usually takes a few days for the transfer to complete. In most cases, our first payment goes out to the writers between the 7th and the 11th of the month. The second payment is made anywhere from the 22nd to the 26th of the month. We have no control over the transfer period, but do make payments to our writers as soon as the money becomes available.
Asking for Help
If you look at the top of the screen on any page, you see the words “Help Desk.” Click on that if you find yourself in need of assistance for any reason.
Just follow the instructions on the page to create a help desk ticket. You will get an email acknowledging your ticket and another when we respond. If you need additional help, go back to the help desk to communicate with our staff using that same ticket. Be sure not to use email to reply to a help desk ticket because we won’t see your reply.
Talking to Customers
There are several ways for you to communicate with customers. We ask that you keep your conversations with customers respectful whether they are comments, messages, or conference calls. They are your customers and you should handle them that way.
- Keep all language professional and business-like
- Avoid being overly defensive or combative even if you feel it is warranted
- Ask questions that are clear and to the point
If you have a problem that might cause conflict, open a help desk ticket instead of communicating with the client. You are not allowed contact with customers outside WriterAccess for any reason. If the client requests a phone call, they can use the conference call system we offer (provided they are eligible). If they want to send you a message, they can use our messaging service. There is no reason to give a customer your:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Blog address
- Personal Information
This is for your safety, as well as ours. Customers have all the tools they need to communicate with writers within the WriterAccess platform.
Raising Your Star Level
At WriterAccess, we offer competitive pay based on star levels. Most new writers start around level three and move up. How? All you have to do is make the customers happy.
They rate each submission you make with:
- Exceeded Expectations
- Met Expectations
- Did Not Meet Expectations
In a perfect world, every client would have their expectations exceeded with every order. The reality is that “Met” is the most common rating. If you do get an “Exceeded,” you get points that move you towards a higher star rating. A “Did Not Meet” brings a penalty that may hold you back. All Did Not Meets are evaluated, however, to determine if they are fairly assigned.
We also use the expertise of our professional editors to evaluate copy as needed.
To ensure writers are meeting the needs of our clients, we have a few penalties that you should avoid if possible. Accumulation of penalties can lead to a temporary removal of garage space.
- Grace Period Violation – Every time you accept an order, you get one hour to cancel for any reason. If you drop an assignment after that one hour, you may get a penalty which can lead to a lower star rating.
- Checkout Violation – A Checkout Violation occurs when the timer on an order expires. When this happens, the order is taken away from you and sent to another writer. Like Grace Period Violations, Checkout Violations result in a penalty to your account which can lead to a lower star rating.
- Extension Requests – Life gets in the way sometimes for everyone. This is why WriterAccess allows you an extra three hours each month if you need it. Once the deadline timer on an order gets down to 12 hours, you’ll see a button appear that says you can have an extra hour if necessary. If you find yourself coming up short on time and have exhausted your “hour” extensions for the month, then you can ask the client for more time, but you risk getting a penalty when you do so.
If you incurred a penalty but feel it was unfair or unwarranted, leave a brief note for our Talent Management team by visiting Performance > Rebuttals in your account. The penalty may be waived when reviewed.
These are the basics you need to know to get started at WriterAccess. There is much more to learn, though. One of the best places to get information is via the writer forums on your dashboard (which you can find under Resources > Forums in the sidebar). The writing community is friendly and full of veterans who can help you find your way around.
We hope this guide helps you on your way as a member of the WriterAccess community. Don’t forget to check your writer dashboard regularly for new orders. If you need any other assistance, please free free to reach out via our help desk.